I’ve Started Hooking in My Spare Time

Before you dig out your soapbox and bible, it’s not nearly as horrible as you might think. Apparently that’s what the cool moms are calling it these days.

It all started late this fall. I use doilies in a lot of my decorating and began to look closer at them as I was changing colors and sizes to correspond with the season (add it to the list of “Granny” habits I have) and started to think I should really know how to make these. I’ve got time to pick up another hobby; I like to lie to myself too. But why not get a little crazy?!

I found out at Christmas that my Great Grandma made doilies until she lost her vision. I remember a basket of colorful thread in her living room but was too young to notice much more than the colors. Before she passed, she told my Grandma to give each of us girls a doily she made in remembrance of her. This Christmas, Grandma had the designated doilies, matted, framed and wrapped. They were lovely! I hung mine in my bedroom and it didn’t take until New Years for me to decide I really was going to give it a try.

Great Grandma's Doily
Great Grandma’s Doily

I needed a baby gift, which meant a trip to Hobby Lobby for yarn, and because I just happened to be there, I picked up a tiny crochet hook and spool of thread. The only crochet attempt I have had any success with is rag rugs. If it’s not a rug it’s a tiny balled up mess. I have never understood crochet patterns. Knitting is no problem, I’ve got that, sweaters, hats, mittens, cables, no problem! I was determined to “hook” too.

I printed off a few free patterns and went cross-eyed trying to figure out the diagrams explaining what to do with this tiny hook and thread. It wasn’t too long and I had the general idea of what was going on. Like anything new there is a lot to learn.

Lesson no. 1- Don’t start with a pattern, which states “this is my first attempt at writing a pattern.” There’s a 50/50 chance of it ending well. – I quit a few rounds early, while things were still lining up… it’s a large coaster size; perfect for my coffee up.

Lesson no. 2- No pattern looks like an easy one when you are first starting. –I searched for one that had a instructions that looked to be in English and finally picked one the same way I pick wine: Find a pretty picture (or a neat label).

Lesson no. 3- As long as your hook size and thread size correspond you don’t have to have what the pattern calls for. There will be lots of arguments with this one, but just starting out I’m learning to read patterns and master a technique, not make a sweater that fits. I have been using a 1.5mm (7) hook and classic 10 lace thread. It seems to be a good middle of the road size for learning.

Lesson no. 5- Being able to count correctly is very helpful. – The first larger doily I attempted was written wrong, at least to how I would read it. Between the typos and my not being able to consistently count to five, things were a bit off. (The second attempt went much better.)

A handful of doilies later, I have a stack of patterns to try! I’m hooked!

You may also like


  1. Thanks for sharing the lessons, I often try to understand the doily pattern, but I leave it after all. Particularly, the most difficult one is japanese pattern